‘Everyday’: UT football fans brave the storms for the first game of the season

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Is Mother Nature a precursor to the effectiveness of the University of Texas football team? We are not superstitious, but does it give an indication of how loyal the fan base will be.

The forecast for the first game of the season pointed to a soggy track and the possibility of localized flooding. Unfortunately, that prediction came to pass. Regardless, the fans were out on Saturday and early.

Despite the rain, people showed up to watch UT’s first football game of the season (Photo by KXAN/Christian Marcelli)

One such person was Rick Pina, a Longhorn fan since childhood. He and his family came to Austin from North Texas, and on Saturday of all days, they forgot about their coveted tent, which would normally provide cover for the family as they walk the overhang of the Brazos parking lot.

“Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t work out for us, but we’re excited for the rest of the year,” Pina said. “I forgot the store.”

Regardless, by the time the rain actually began to fall outside the garage, the family was ready to switch gears, quickly adjusting their chairs to sit under the cover provided by an upper level of the garage. The family had also plugged a TV into the wall to watch other games during the day, which was covered by a burnt-orange tarp less than a minute after the raindrops began to fall heavily.

Rain or shine, Pina and his family said nothing was going to dampen the excitement of another UT football season, the fourth Pina has held a season ticket.

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“I’m extremely excited, you know, as a Longhorn fan, there’s always so much hype,” Pina said. “Going into this season with a lot of skilled players, looking forward to a good year.”

Tips for bad weather delays

Troy Kimmel, UT Austin professor and weather advisor for UT and Austin FC athletics, discussed what to do in the event of a weather delay.

Kimmel said it’s a “collaborative effort” and while his role is “advisory in nature,” his input is highly valued and people often listen to him and other weather experts.

Wednesday’s game at Q2 Stadium between Austin FC and the Portland Timbers was delayed about two hours due to thunderstorms and lightning in the area.

Fans must go to the mezzanine and concourse levels to seek protection from lightning associated with storms passing over DKR. Kimmel advised people not to get out in their cars during weather delays and to stay inside the stadium since that’s where it’s safest, he said.

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